Traveling to another country is as exciting as it can be overwhelming. With so many new things to experience, keeping an eye on your belongings can easily be overlooked.
What can you do about this when traveling?
Some places have short-term storage solutions called coin lockers you can use to store your luggage bags or your shopping bags.
However, with their innovative coin lockers, Japan has a solution for the travel-savvy tourist looking to stash their belongings for a few hours.
What is Japan Coin Lockers?
Japan has taken automated public lockers to the next level with coin lockers. Similar to the convenience and thrill of capsule hotels, coin lockers aim to minimize the amount of space taken up on the go while providing a streamlined experience for users.
These compact lockers are everywhere in Japan and are easily accessible almost any time during the day. They’re far more trustworthy than the standard-issue locker units you may be accustomed to, as there is no risk of losing your belongings due to a lost key.
These automatic lockers work without keys, so you can rest easy, knowing you won’t lose access to your items.
While most commonly used to store luggage and bags for travelers, locals are fond of using them as well throughout the day when they have too many things to carry but would rather not venture home right away.
Where Can You Find Coin Lockers in Japan?
When it comes to locating coin lockers, Japan has them everywhere. Significant cities like Shibuya and Shinjuku have coin lockers all around for convenience.
The most common places to find one are train stations, shopping malls, and major tourist attractions due to heavy foot traffic and the likelihood of use. You’ll find that museums and department stores are more likely to have coin locker stations nearby.
There are thousands of lockers across Japan in the major cities, but during the holidays, peak hours, or Golden Week, they may be in short supply. It shouldn’t take long for one to open up as people constantly move about in these fast-paced environments. Waiting a few minutes should free up some space.
Smaller lockers are more likely to be available, while bigger lockers used for suitcases and large luggage may take longer. A little patience will be profitable in this scenario.
Why Use Coin Lockers While Traveling?
There’s no safer way to store your belongings while traveling. Be it luggage or bags from shopping, you can easily stash any personal items for a few hours or the rest of the day.
If you’re visiting, it’s a great way to stow your luggage while you explore the city while waiting for a flight or seek accommodation for the evening.
This works just as well if you’re taking a day trip to another city or carrying too much to be comfortable.
If you’re fascinated by the capsule hotel experience, you can store your luggage in coin lockers. Japan utilizes these lockers so that you can comfortably sort out your belongings without feeling crowded in small spaces.
Whether adjusting to your new city life or just passing through and missing the last train, coin lockers are perfect for safely storing your luggage.
How Do Coin Lockers Work?
When you need to store your belongings for a little while, find an empty coin locker to use! They’re simple to use and easy to find. Coin lockers are rented on a day-to-day basis, meaning from midnight to midnight. When you use these lockers, depending on the model, there are different ways to seal them.
On older models, you’ll deposit your belongings in the unit, insert the coins needed into the slot, close the locker door, and remove the key. Newer models are equipped with a touch screen to streamline the process and terminate the use of a physical key.
Instead, you’ll be issued a pin code to hold onto until it’s time to retrieve your belongings. Follow along with the prompts on the screen and return to pay to obtain your luggage.
Don’t worry about the language barrier on the screen! The interface is in English so that travelers can understand it easily.
How Much Do Coin Lockers Cost?
The cost of a coin locker depends on the size. Typically, at Tokyo station, you’ll see lockers in one of four sizes:
- Smaller lockers are the standard and most common size, coming up at around 34 cm in height and width.
- Medium-sized lockers are also 34 cm wide and generally 55 cm high.
- Large lockers are about 84 cm high, with a 34 cm width to store bigger suitcases.
- The largest and rarest locker is the extra-large coin locker. It allows for anywhere between 117 and 177 cm in height; you can usually find them at a train station, and they are big enough to store two luggage bags.
The price will be displayed on the locker, so there’s no confusion. The price will also appear on the screen when you select the locker.
Prices range from 300 yen for the smallest to 700 yen for the largest. Consumers should be aware that the cost is determined by how many days the locker is rented out, so an overnight stay will cost two days.
You can pay the coin locker using cash, or you can use your IC card as well.
When are Coin Lockers Emptied Out in Japan?
Employees will empty the lockers at different intervals depending on the area the coin locker is in. The longest a coin locker can be rented out is for up to three days. After that period, station staff or employees will empty lockers and discard the items in the locker.
Other lockers may be emptied every evening, depending on the demand in the area. Keep an eye out for any signs that will inform you of this information, so you can avoid losing your belongings.
All locations that service coin lockers will empty them before long, so plan accordingly in your travels.
When traveling with luggage, consider leaving it in coin lockers. Japan is full of them in their major cities for your convenience. They’re affordable and easy to use, making them the best way to store your luggage while exploring the city.
Whether you need them for a few days or a few hours, coin lockers are the best and safest way to stow your luggage in Japan!